For the record, I agree that it’s harder, and better, for us to not be hopping the orange curbs. It made perfect sense to me for the track limits to be set so that 2 wheels were always on the black stuff (ie. On or inside of the first white line). What was won during that meeting did not, in my opinion, improve our racing.
Craig - I agree with you. Staying off the curbs and on the track would have demanded way more precision and especially patience, but the reality of it all is that if there is nothing to hit or slow you down, a lot of drivers would surely have exceeded the original as-stated track limits. Then you are at the mercy of the corner marshals, or race control watching all the TV monitors and catching all infringements.
Because there is one thing that will really piss a driver off, is being called in for a black flag, after the session, and being told you are losing your position (or DQ'd) and not doing the same to other drivers that were incurring the same infringements. That happened to both Nick Leverone and I in STL qualifying, so we dialed it back for the SM qualifying, and guess what, it put us back in 10th and 14th.
In the first SM qualifying run, before our drivers meeting, there were 76 transgressions, and not one driver was penalized.Now if they had spoken to all the transgressors, and stripped them of their qually times, then yes, I would have been happy. But they didn't. So it was pretty obvious to all:- comply with the rules, and finish way back, or exceed the limits and try your luck. The entire SM field went for the latter in the qually and then asked for the extension of track limits
So IMO the call by Drago and others, to have the track limits extended, essentially allowed us to race without having to settle the outcome in the stewards office, with each penalized driver bringing his video to pint out the drivers ahead or behind that had equally transgressed the limits, but yet somehow had escaped any penalties.
At Watkins Glen, there is this paved section outside of turn 1, and once again every driver gets tempted to use it. In SCCA you get two mulligans, then you get black flagged, and it ha always been a contentious issue, but at the 16 NASA Champs they said to us, go ahead and use it, and we were like "WHAT?", and guess what it worked and we all had a great race with no fear that our 4 wheels slightly over the line was going to get us moved back at the end of the race.
This time I am on Jim's side of the argument and of course this is just one mans opinion
in the SM qualifying run, before our drivers meeting, there were 76 transgressions, and not one driver was penalized.
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